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Posts Tagged ‘Barbara Hepworth’

WHO IS…BEN NICHOLSON?

Posted 1 July 2015 by Kat

Who made this? Who is Foxy and Frankie? It’s kind of silly! It was made by Ben Nicholson of course! Let’s meet him!

Ben Nicholson OM, Foxy and Frankie (1) 1933 © Angela Verren Taunt 2015. All rights reserved, DACS

Ben Nicholson OM, Foxy and Frankie (1) 1933 © Angela Verren Taunt 2015. All rights reserved, DACS

Ben Nicholson was a British Modernist who made Abstract paintings in neutral colours that featured squares, circles and rectangles. They were very simple and flat. Here is the first abstract painting he ever made. What do you think of it? Do the shapes remind you of anything?

Ben Nicholson OM, 1924 (first abstract painting, Chelsea), c.1923–4 © Angela Verren Taunt 2015. All rights reserved, DACS

Ben Nicholson OM, 1924 (first abstract painting, Chelsea), c.1923–4 © Angela Verren Taunt 2015. All rights reserved, DACS

This picture is painted on a canvas, but later he painted on wooden boards. He would use a razor blade to scrape back the paint so that the pictures looked weather beaten and old as if they had been eroded by time.

Nicholson was born in England in 1894 and married the artist and sculptor Barbara Hepworth. They often worked together and found inspiration in each other’s artwork. Do you work with friends and family? Have you ever tried to make art with someone else?

Photographs of Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth in the Mall studio [c 1932] © reserved. Tate Archive

Photographs of Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth in the Mall studio [c 1932] © reserved. Tate Archive

Nicholson’s father was a very famous and eccentric artist called William Nicholson who had a great influence on him. While he was studying at the Slade School of fine art in London, Nicholson discovered Cubism, which inspired him to start experimenting with new modernist ideas.

In 1934 Nicholson visited the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian in his studio in Paris. He was very impressed with the feeling of light Mondrian had created. He began to make paintings inspired by Mondrian using primary colours and tones of blue, grey and white. This painting is called June 1937. Can you see any similarities between Nicholson’s painting and this one by Piet Mondrian?

Ben Nicholson OM June 1937 (painting) 1937 © Angela Verren Taunt 2015. All rights reserved, DACS

Ben Nicholson OM June 1937 (painting) 1937 © Angela Verren Taunt 2015. All rights reserved, DACS

Piet Mondrian, Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red 1937–42 c. Tate

Piet Mondrian, Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red 1937–42 c. Tate

Until the Second World War many people thought Nicholson’s paintings were outrageous and he struggled to make a living from selling them. In 1940 he moved to St Ives in Cornwall where he studied the subtle colours of the landscape. He began to find his own style that reflected the greys, browns and greens of the countryside. Other artists who were also interested in abstract art also moved to St Ives, and soon there were many artists living in the little fishing village and they became known as the St Ives Group.

Do you see the boats in this image? I wonder where he painted this? Why do you think he put the jugs and cups in the front of the painting?

Ben Nicholson OM, 1943-45 (St Ives, Cornwall) 1943–5 © Angela Verren Taunt 2015. All rights reserved, DACS

Ben Nicholson OM, 1943-45 (St Ives, Cornwall) 1943–5 © Angela Verren Taunt 2015. All rights reserved, DACS

Nicholson died in 1982 and by then he was considered to be one of Britain’s finest artists who had introduced many new and exciting ideas about Modern art to Britain!

What do you think of this work? Does it remind you of other artworks? How does his work make you feel?
Let us know in the comments below.

You can see some of Ben Nicholson’s work in the new Barbara Hepworth exhibition at Tate Britain now! :)

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WHO IS…BARBARA HEPWORTH?

Posted 23 June 2015 by Kat

Barbara Hepworth was a very famous British sculptor, who was born in Wakefield in 1903.

Photographs of Ben Nicholson taking a photograph of Barbara Hepworth [c 1932] Tate Archive

Photographs of Ben Nicholson taking a photograph of Barbara Hepworth [c 1932] Tate Archive

Her earliest memories were from driving though the countryside with her family. She never forgot the shapes made by the roads, hills and fields and they inspired her to make some amazing artwork…

She studied at Leeds School of Art with Henry Moore, who became a life-long friend. This is what his work looked like. What do you think are the similarities and differences in their work?

Henry Moore OM, CH Family Group 1949, cast 1950–1 © The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved

Henry Moore OM, CH Family Group 1949, cast 1950–1 © The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved

Here is an early sculpture by Hepworth made in 1929.

Dame Barbara Hepworth, Infant 1929 © Bowness

Dame Barbara Hepworth, Infant 1929 © Bowness

It is of her son Paul, who was born in 1929. It is made of wood that has been sandpapered until it is smooth and glossy. The baby looks as if he is lying on his back, but Hepworth has made the sculpture stand upright, like a wooden icon. It also looks a bit like an African carving. Many modern artists were influenced by African art at this time.

Barbara’s most important sculptures were abstract. They were made of wood, stone and bronze. Barbara said her work was a way of ‘holding a beautiful thought’. Do you agree?

In the 1930s, Hepworth became part of a group of artists who stopped making art that looked like people and started making abstract art. She met with a lot of international artists, like Picasso, Mondrian and Kandinsky! She was pretty cool.

Here is an early abstract sculpture she made…

Dame Barbara Hepworth, Mother and Child 1934 © Bowness

Dame Barbara Hepworth, Mother and Child 1934 © Bowness

I bet you can guess which part is the mother and which is the child?

Hepworth wanted to create art that was calm, that people could enjoy looking at and would not make them feel uncomfortable or anxious. She began to make sculptures and drawings that were inspired by the landscape and nature around her.

Dame Barbara Hepworth, Winter Solstice 1970 © Bowness

Dame Barbara Hepworth, Winter Solstice 1970 © Bowness

At the outbreak of the Second World War, Hepworth and her family moved to St Ives in Cornwall. St Ives was a very popular place for artists to live. Hepworth and her husband, the artist Ben Nicholson formed the St Ives Group. The artists of the St Ives Group wanted their sculptures to look like they had been formed by the landscape, or like pebbles found on the seashore. This sculpture is called Oval. Do you think it looks a bit like a stone that has had its edges smoothed down by the force of the sea?

Dame Barbara Hepworth, Oval Sculpture (No. 2) 1943, cast 1958 © Bowness

Dame Barbara Hepworth, Oval Sculpture (No. 2) 1943, cast 1958 © Bowness

Barbara wanted people to look at the world in a different way, she wanted you to use her sculptures to frame a landscape. Look through her work, over it, from far away or really close.

She was asked to make art for public places like outside the United Nations building in New York or on Oxford Street in London.

Hepworth passed away in 1975, but her smooth, organic looking sculptures still make many people look at the world differently today!

We really do love Barbara Hepworth at Tate Kids and we have lots of activities and games to do inspired by Hepworth. You can download our free drawing app, make a necklace, carve soap or even explore her garden!

See her sculptures in real life at our new exhibition at Tate Britain or down in St Ives in her studio!

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NEW free APP! Tate Kids Draw & Play!

Posted 18 December 2014 by Kat

We have an early Christmas present for you guys! Eek!

I am very excited to announce the launch of a new app from Tate Kids and Tate Publishing (with the digital whiz kids at Aimer Media too!)

It’s called Tate Kids Draw & Play and it’s free and it’s great!

Now’s your chance to draw, paint and create your own worlds with some new characters!

All you have to do is choose a canvas and start the fun. It’s perfect for anyone aged 4-8, but i know some adults that have a lot of fun playing on it too! 😉 You can add stickers to the scene or draw new characters and record noises for them.  When finished you can share your creation on Tate Kids My Gallery.

You can download the Tate Kids Draw & Play app from iTunes right now! Make sure you ask your parent or guardian first, and then go have fun! CLICK HERE!!!

Here’s some cheeky pics from the app too!

tk-drawplay3

Can’t wait to see your creations! Go and play! :)

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Tate Kids visits Tate St Ives

Posted 17 September 2014 by Kat

Last week Tate Kids took a little trip down to Tate St Ives to see what amazing things there are for kids down in Cornwall! It was also great to hear about new future projects that will be happening over the next year too!

Tate St Ives c. Tate

Tate St Ives c. Tate

St Ives habour c. Tate

St Ives habour c. Tate

St Ives is very pretty and has all the great seaside things, like ice cream, fish and chips and buckets and spades!

Porthmeor beach c. Tate

Porthmeor beach c. Tate

There is the Barbara Hepworth Museum which was the house of the artist who filled a whole garden with her beautiful sculptures. Have you played our Hepworth game? You can also write postcards to Barbara Hepworth at the house! What would you write?

Barbara Hepworth Garden. c.Tate

Barbara Hepworth Garden. c.Tate

Her studio, where she made all her work, is here too. Do you have a place where you make art? Does it look like this?

Barbara Hepworth's Studio c. Tate

Barbara Hepworth’s Studio c. Tate

Tate St Ive’s has an activity on the beach and in the gallery for kids every Wednesday called Toddle Tate. They have this fabulous suitcase with lots of exciting objects in. Last week they made potato prints of sculptures inspired by Hepworth.

Toddle Tate suitcase c. Tate

Toddle Tate suitcase c. Tate

Potato print in Toddle Tate c. Tate

Potato prints in Toddle Tate c. Tate

It was also really exciting to see that you can play on Tate Kids in the gallery too! Perfect!

Tate Kids at Tate St Ives c. Tate

Tate Kids at Tate St Ives c. Tate

Have you been to Tate St Ives? What did you think?

Tate Kids on the beach c. Tate

Tate Kids on the beach c. Tate

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BARBARA’S POSTCARDS

Posted 14 June 2010 by Hannah

As part of my trip to St Ives, I went to have a look at Barbara Hepworth’s Garden. I’d never been before, but I really felt like I’d been there from playing our Barbara’s Garden game! It was beautiful and sunny, and the most amazing thing was listening to the birds and the rustle of the trees – it made me realise how well the game has  brought the garden to life online. Sound really makes a big difference.

My favourite part was the comments book, which is made up of postcards written to Barbara. Here are my favourites:

Here someone’s drawn their favourite sculpture. It’s a great likeness!

Some people loved it so much they could only write I LOVE YOU and AMAZING!

And everyone used their best handwriting. Very good indeed!

It was really inspiring to read everyone’s comments, and a little bit sad, because Barbara died in 1975. Have you been to visit the garden, or played our game? What would you say to Barbara about her beautiful sculptures?

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